Have you ever seen the Austin Powers movies? In these comedic delights you may remember the ever sexy Fembot. They were tall, blonde robots with machine gun boobs. They looked the same, they dressed the same and they all shared the exact same mission…Kill Austin Powers!
In my earlier career I was an improvisational actor. I would do impersonations, comedic skits and murder mysteries for company parties and events. One stand out gig was an event for a high end clothing store. They were having their Grand Opening and they wanted to blow this night out of the water. Everyone was dressed to the nines and they had delicious food, plentiful drinks, gorgeous models and might I say…first class actors. I was hired to come with Austin Powers and be a Fembot. Now just so you know, I am not a tall blonde but rather a shorty with black hair. I knew a blonde wig would solve my first problem but I had no idea of the other challenges that I would have to overcome. As we were in the greenroom getting ready, in walks the event organizer and some of the most beautiful fashion models that I have ever seen.
The event organizer begins spewing instructions.
“Ok people, show time in one hour and Jennifer, you are a Fembot over there with Jacki.”
Now for those of you who don’t know Jennifer, she was the tallest and the blondest of all the models. She was going to make the perfect Fembot. So perfect in fact that my unfembotness would surely stand out like a sore thumb.
FOR GOD SAKE I came up to the woman’s kneecaps!
Oh well, I had been an actor for many years so I was confident that I could work with this somehow.
First rule of Improvisation…do not block your own success by saying NO!
In our costumes and pre-determinded roles, they threw us out of the greenroom with only one set of instructions…BE ENTERTAINING!
I took one long look up the never ending limbs that was Jennifer only to see the beautiful model robot look like she was going to throw up. She bent down…way down and said to me “I don’t know how to act…I’m a model.” I knew in this moment that if were going to sell this mixed bag of sexy we needed two things…Teamwork AND a differentiating factor. I told her not to worry and to follow my lead.
“Shoulders Back and Boobs Out Jennifer.” As we paraded ourselves through the crowd, Jennifer was your traditional gorgeous Austin Powers Fembot and me…her evil mini me side kick tirelessly threatening to shoot people in the knees. The night was a great success and the lesson never lost. If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to separate yourself by understanding and playing up the very differences that make you unique. Fitting in, in business and in life is NOT a recipe for success, especially if you are a 5’2, black haired Fembot!